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2011 NFL Combine: Cornerbacks That Have A Lot To Gain And Lose

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There has been debate as to what the number two need outside of quarterback is for the 49ers. Some fans believe that outside linebacker, and getting a pass rush is the second weakest department on the roster. Others feel as though our secondary is the second weakest area. In looking at the number, and rankings, it seems as though the latter of the equation would be closer to accurate. The argument has been that without a pass rush, your secondary is left exposed. While that may hold true to an extent, if the guys in the secondary cannot cover in the first place, or keep up, then a pass rush is moot.

Some have speculated that the 49ers need to make more than one move at the cornerback position whether it be through free agency or the draft. Last year, the Niners took a cornerback in 7th round out of South Carolina State in Phillip Adams. Adams did not see much action but showed a bit of promise in the preseason. He will have a shot this year to de-throne Tarell Brown for the nickel corner position. It doesn't seem as though Adams is starter material... maybe one day.

Nate Clements and Shawntae Spencer may be back as the starters for 2011, which for some fans would be a big disappointment considering their track record last season. However, with a new coaching staff in place, there is so much mystery as to who we will see as the starting twenty-two players next year (with exception to a few positions).

Defensive backs could potentially be the most effected by the results of the NFL Combine. Click continue below to find out which cornerbacks have the most to gain, and the ones that have the most to lose.

CORNERBACKS

Most to gain:

Jimmy Smith (Colorado), 6'2", 210 LBS: Smith may be able to increase his stock with a decent 40-time, shuffle-drills, among others. People are going to want to see how well he is able to turn his hips and accelerate thereafter. If he does well, it could potentially open the door for him to solidify a first round selection. If he does not do that well, he could slide in to the second where most people currently have him slotted.

Brandon Harris (Miami), 6'0", 200 LBS: Brandon Harris may have the most to gain out of any other corner coming out. He has been flying well below the radar the entire year. Statistically, he may not have been the best. But his skill set is definitely there. I expect that Harris will have a very good outing, and that his stock status will have increased after the combine.

Ras I-Dowling (Virginia), 6'2", 200 LBS: Dowling was rated very high heading in to the year. Unfortunately, he was injured before the year even began. He come off the injury and started in the third game of the year. Three games later, Dowling was hurt again. Since then, Dowling's stock status has taken a nose dive. If he has an excellent combine, some teams may overlook the injury and take a chance based on the game film of 2008 and 2009.

Most to lose:

Prince Amukamara (Nebraska), 6'1", 205 LBS: Some people have Amukamara ranked as the number one corner, and others have Peterson ranked number one. Either way, when a player is at the top, he always has the most to risk losing. There's always game film that backs up the reason's why they are ranked as high as they are, but if there are any slip-ups, it could send out red flags to teams who may have serious interest. If Amukamara has any slip-ups, then he may be the most at risk to slide in the draft.

Patrick Peterson (LSU), 6'1", 215 LBS: There's been knocks recently by Mike Mayock that Peterson is a bit stiff in his turning. He mentions that for the larger cornerbacks, it's always a lot tougher to get turned around than the smaller ones like Joe Haden. Peterson could put all that to rest, but if there are any signs that he has troubles in getting turned around, then there's a shot that he could fall further than what people have him slotted to go.

Aaron Williams (Texas), 6'1", 195 LBS: Aaron Williams' stock is a bit of a mystery right now. He has been rated relatively high on a majority of the boards I have seen, but then there are some that have him going in the mid-rounds. He has had his fair share of flaws while at Texas though. He is exploitable. And if the guys that are running the combine are able to, they will exploit the weakness' and he could secure a mid-round pick instead of a day two pick.

Here are the rest of the guys that were invited:

ALLEN, CORTEZ

CITADEL

10

DB1

DC

AMUKAMARA, PRINCE

NEBRASKA

10

DB2

DC

BRINKLEY, NILES

WISCONSIN

10

DB4

DC

BROWN, CHYKIE

TEXAS

10

DB5

DC

BROWN, CURTIS

TEXAS

10

DB6

DC

BROWN, JALIL

COLORADO

10

DB7

DC

BURNEY, KENDRIC

NORTH CAROLINA

10

DB8

DC

BURTON, BRANDON

UTAH

10

DB9

DC

BUTLER, MARIO

GEORGIA TECH

10

DB10

DC

CARMICHAEL, RASHAD

VIRGINIA TECH

10

DB11

DC

CHEKWA, CHIMDI

OHIO ST

10

DB13

DC

CUFF, VANCE

GEORGIA

10

DB15

DC

CULLIVER, CHRIS

SOUTH CAROLINA

10

DB16

DC

DOWLING, RAS-I

VIRGINIA

10

DB17

DC

GILCHRIST, MARCUS

CLEMSON

10

DB18

DC

HARRIS, BRANDON

MIAMI-FL

10

DB21

DC

HOGAN, BRANDON

WEST VIRGINIA

10

DB24

DC

HOUSE, DAVON

NEW MEXICO ST

10

DB25

DC

MARSH, CURTIS

UTAH ST

11

DB31

DC

MAXWELL, BYRON

CLEMSON

11

DB32

DC

MCGEE, ANDREW

OKLAHOMA ST

11

DB34

DC

PATRICK, JOHNNY

LOUISVILLE

11

DB36

DC

PETERSON, PATRICK

LOUISIANA ST

11

DB37

DC

ROGERS, JUSTIN

RICHMOND

11

DB38

DC

RUCKER, CHRIS

MICHIGAN ST

11

DB39

DC

RUTLAND, KEVIN

MISSOURI

11

DB40

DC

SHERMAN, RICHARD

STANFORD

11

DB44

DC

SKRINE, DARRYL

BUSTER

TENNESSEE-CHATT

11

DB46

DC

SMITH, JAMES

JIMMY

COLORADO

11

DB47

DC

THOMAS, JOSHUA

JOSH

BUFFALO

11

DB49

DC

THOMPSON, BRANDYN

BOISE ST

11

DB50

DC

TORRENCE, DEVON

OHIO ST

11

DB51

DC

VAN DYKE, DEMARCUS

MIAMI-FL

11

DB52

DC

WILLIAMS, AARON

TEXAS

11

DB53

DC

WRIGHT, SHAREECE

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

11

DB56

DC